Energy deals sealed as power station is sold
A LARGE-SCALE power station that provides the required "umph" for several Grimsby businesses on the South Bank has changed hands, bringing security for energy-intensive operators, and a boost to inward investment.
Cofely, the energy services company of the group GDF Suez, has bought Humber Energy Ltd, for an undisclosed sum.
The deal includes a gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plant and an associated industrial energy network, where 26 people are employed.
Together they are capable of supplying 48MW of electricity and more than 200 tonnes of steam to a major industrial park that was the former Courtaulds site.
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Following the deal, Cofely has signed a new long-term energy service agreement for both heat and electricity with current user Lenzing Fibers, a leading global provider of man-made fibres, and another agreement with existing user Bluestar Fibres, the multi-national carbon fibre precursor and oxidised fibre producer.
Further investment is planned by Cofely, a sister company to Immingham engineering firm Fabricom, which will assist network users with ongoing reductions in both energy costs and carbon footprint for the foreseeable future.
Paul Rawson, managing director of Cofely's Industrial Energy Services, said: "This acquisition is very significant for Cofely and further strengthens our presence within the energy intensive industry sector, while also aligning with our strategy of further expansion into large-scale industrial CHP.
"We are looking forward to working with users on Great Coates Industrial Park to help them exploit opportunities for reducing carbon emissions, cutting production costs and complying with forthcoming legislative changes.
"The acquisition and subsequent investment will see further development of the industrial energy network.
"This will provide lower cost, lower carbon energy for use at the park and in the surrounding local area – making it even more attractive to inward investment. We are already working closely with existing network users, and would be keen to talk with any new companies potentially considering moving into the area."
Bioethanol producer Vireol has all the permissions in place to establish a refining facility there, and is currently working through the funding.
When Courtaulds, or Accordis as it had become, was saved from administration in late 2005, Humber Energy Ltd was formed out of the split of the assets, which saw the major manufacturing element renamed Fibres Worldwide.
It was in the same ownership as Wharf Land Investments, a business that parceled up the 250 acres of land.
Fibres Worldwide then ran into difficulties, and Bluestar, the Chinese state-owned chemical company, stepped in. Ownership of the power plant remained in third party hands when the December 2006 deal was concluded.
Recently those on site had explored independent power provision.
Lenzing, already separated from Accordis when it went into financial meltdown, secured planning permission for a 7.5MW facility in March last year.
Andrew Ronchetti, site manager at Lenzing Fibers, said that project was now on hold “and probably will not go ahead provided the contract with Cofely works satisfactorily”.